Pandora claims gains in March


PandoraLeading internet radio outlet Pandora has altered its measurement methodology to increase accuracy, and it showed growth for the service for the month of March 2013.

The service says users logged 1.49B hours with it during the month, representing a 40% increase over the 1.07B hours logged in March 2012.

Pandora says it now has 8.05% of total US radio listening, compared to 5.73% during the same month in 2012.

Its active listener base is also said to have increased significantly, rising from 51.2M to 69.5M, a gain of 36%.
Describing its new measurement methodology, Pandora stated, “Beginning with the March 2013 metrics, Pandora will report monthly U.S. radio listening market share data on a trailing 28-day basis as of the end of the month (whereas previous reports were based on a trailing 7-day basis as of the end of the month). The new 28-day trailing methodology will provide a more accurate reflection of Pandora’s monthly market share. Comparative data for previous time periods (in this case, March 2012) will be revised for consistency of presentation.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Pandora has attributes that broadcast cannot match, but that’s a two-way street, because broadcast has attributes that Pandora cannot match.

Broadcast cannot match Pandora’s 1M+ title playlist, nor should it try. Broadcast’s advantage is being connected to the community in which it is located.

We continue to believe that radio must use its local capabilities to the fullest extent possible. A national service cannot match the boots on the ground in local markets that are already on the broadcast payroll, and that is the vital advantage in broadcast’s favor.

Not that Pandora isn’t trying – it is more than happy to rake in local advertising dollars to the extent that it can. It is incumbent on broadcasters to make sure that Pandora’s success is kept to a minimum by providing a much stronger alternative to local businesses.

And we again remind broadcast that it is very possible to play on Pandora’s turf. A strong digital presence can enhance the listener’s experience and relationship to your station, and that enhances its value to advertisers, and that in turn will do two things – allow your station to dig into that growing slice of digital revenue and make it harder for Pandora do so at the local level in your market.